What Kind of Coolant Does Tesla Use? Tesla Coolant Type And Specs

Unlike gasoline cars, Teslas use energy stored in the battery packs to power the electric motor. Accordingly, if you are considering making the switch to an electric vehicle, one of the main concerns that you may have is the type of coolant that these vehicles use to optimize thermal management. 

Tesla uses G-48 ethylene-glycol coolant (HOAT), which controls the battery’s temperature, optimizing both the life and performance of the car’s battery. 

In this article, I will explore the specifications of Tesla’s coolant, explain how it facilitates effective heat dissipation to prolong battery life and improve performance, and compare this coolant to antifreeze. So, let’s get into it. 

Does A Tesla Vehicle Use Coolant?

When it comes to Tesla vehicles, they don’t use traditional coolant for their batteries. Instead, they rely on a specialized cooling system to keep their batteries at optimal temperatures. Tesla uses a liquid cooling system to regulate the temperature of their battery packs.

The cooling system in Tesla vehicles is designed to ensure that the batteries stay within a safe operating range, regardless of weather conditions or heavy usage. It helps to prevent overheating during periods of high demand, such as when the car is accelerating or fast charging. Additionally, it also helps to keep the batteries warm in colder temperatures, ensuring efficient performance even in winter.

What Type Of Battery Coolant Does Tesla Use?

If you’re wondering “What Kind Of Coolant Does Tesla Use?” I’m afraid I can’t give you an exact answer. The exact composition of the coolant that the Tesla’s battery cooling system uses may not be publicly disclosed, as it is part of their proprietary technology. However, it is known that Tesla uses a combination of ethylene or propylene glycol mixed with water as the coolant. This mixture helps in efficiently transferring heat away from the batteries and maintaining their temperature within the desired range.

By effectively managing the battery temperature, Tesla can optimize the performance, longevity, and overall safety of their electric vehicles. The cooling system plays a crucial role in preserving the battery life and ensuring that the Tesla driving experience remains smooth and reliable.

So, while Tesla doesn’t use a specific battery coolant in the traditional sense, they employ a sophisticated liquid cooling system to keep their batteries in the ideal temperature zone, allowing their vehicles to deliver the performance and efficiency they’re renowned for.

How Does the Tesla Cooling System Work?

The Tesla cooling system works because it distributes the G-48 ethylene-glycol coolant mixture across the battery pack, allowing heat transfer from the lithium-ion battery cells to a refrigeration cycle to prevent overheating. 

Because Teslas with the 2170 and 18650 batteries have thousands of cells in the battery pack, cooling these cells effectively poses a challenge. The liquid glycol mixture presents a solution to this challenge. The Tesla cooling system uses coolant to stop the little cells from overheating.

Zerex G48 Low Silicate Phosphate Free Concentrate Antifreeze/Coolant 1 Ga
Tesla uses the G-48 ethylene-glycol coolant to transfer heat to a refrigerant. This coolant ensures that all the heat generated by the battery packs to run the electric motor is quickly dissipated to prevent damage to any cells. 

Tesla cooling systems don’t just keep your battery from overheating. They also protect your battery from freezing. 

This system is fantastic for Tesla owners since most EV batteries don’t function well when they are too cool or warm. So, Tesla’s cooling system ensures that you always get the most out of your battery. 

For more about how this process works, I recommend watching the video below, which explains the cooling system on the Tesla Model 3:

Aside from optimizing the thermal management process, Tesla coolant also presents several other benefits, such as:

  • The ethylene-glycol mixture protects your battery pack from freeze-ups during cold weather.
  • This mixture protects your battery against boil-ups and overheating during recharging.
  • The Tesla coolant prevents corrosion on battery packs after exposure to heat or moisture.

How Often Will You Need To Change the Coolant in Your Tesla?

In most cases, you will not need to replace the battery coolant in your Tesla over the vehicle’s lifetime. 

You only need to replace the coolant in your Tesla if its quality drops below the recommended level, following which you should get a warning message on the instrument panel. If this happens, contact Tesla. 

In most cases, you will never need to replace the battery coolant. However, suppose you get the warning message that the quantity of fluid in the car’s cooling system has gone below the recommended threshold. In that case, all you need to do is to contact the manufacturer. 

You do not need to change the vehicle coolant yourself. I recommend not changing the coolant yourself because you risk voiding your warranty if you open the coolant reservoir. 

Tesla also recommends that you not top up the battery coolant yourself because the mixture can cause skin or eye irritation. 

What Maintenance Does A Tesla Need? Battery Specific.

When it comes to maintaining a Tesla, particularly in terms of the battery, there are some key considerations to keep in mind. Let’s dive into the maintenance aspects specific to Tesla batteries and have a chat about them!

First off, one of the most important things to remember is that Tesla batteries are designed for longevity and durability. They typically require less maintenance compared to traditional internal combustion engine vehicles. However, there are still a few things you can do to ensure optimal performance and extend the lifespan of your Tesla’s battery.

One crucial aspect is to maintain the recommended charging habits. Tesla advises owners to keep their battery charged between 20% and 80% for daily use. This charging range helps minimize stress on the battery and promotes longevity. Avoiding regularly charging the battery to its maximum capacity (100%) or allowing it to drain excessively low can help preserve its health over time.

Another consideration is to be mindful of extreme temperature conditions. Tesla batteries perform best within a moderate temperature range. If possible, try to avoid subjecting your Tesla to extremely hot or cold temperatures for prolonged periods. Extreme heat can accelerate battery degradation, while extreme cold can temporarily reduce battery efficiency. Parking in shaded areas or using Tesla’s built-in climate control features when necessary can help mitigate these effects.

Regular software updates are an essential part of Tesla maintenance as well. These updates not only introduce new features but also include optimizations and improvements to the battery management system. Keeping your Tesla’s software up to date ensures that you benefit from the latest advancements and performance enhancements for your battery.

It’s also a good idea to occasionally inspect the battery and charging equipment for any signs of damage or wear. Check the charging cable for fraying or other issues, and keep an eye out for any abnormalities in the battery pack itself. If you notice anything concerning, it’s best to reach out to Tesla’s customer support or schedule a service appointment to have it inspected by professionals.

Lastly, remember to follow Tesla’s recommended service intervals. While the frequency of servicing may be less compared to traditional vehicles, routine check-ups are still important. Tesla’s onboard diagnostics system can often detect potential issues and prompt you to schedule service if needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Use Antifreeze in a Tesla?

Unlike gasoline and diesel vehicles, Teslas don’t have radiators and thus do not need antifreeze. Antifreeze only protects your radiator against cracking when the water freezes.

What Are The Differences Between Tesla Coolant and Antifreeze?

Tesla coolant is made from ethylene glycol and protects the battery from freezing and overheating. Antifreeze only protects your radiator from freezing temperatures.
Tesla CoolantAntifreeze
Made of ethylene-glycol combination mixed with water.Made of propylene glycol or ethylene glycol as the base ingredient (no water).
It has a freezing point below zero and thus protects against freezing at -30º F (-34º C).It has a freezing point of zero and does not offer protection against freezing.
Raises the boiling point to 223º F (106º C) and higher, protecting against boil-ups and overheating.It does not protect against boil-ups.
Tesla’s coolant is a specific blend of ethylene glycol and water, which is expensive but effective. That makes it costlier than antifreeze, but it also lasts longer.Most antifreeze products are a base mixture of propylene glycol or ethylene glycol. Although propylene glycol is expensive, most antifreeze products do not use a specific blend, making them more affordable. 
Only used to cool battery packs in electric motor engines.Used exclusively in gasoline and diesel engines. You cannot use antifreeze in EVs.
This table compares and shows the main differences between Tesla’s coolant and antifreeze.

Why Is My Tesla Leaking Water?

Don’t worry if you notice a small pool of water under your parked Tesla model —it’s actually quite normal! You might be wondering why there’s water leaking from the bottom, but fear not, it’s not a cause for concern. Let me explain.

The water you see is a result of the dehumidifying process that takes place in your Tesla. Tesla vehicles are equipped with a dehumidification system that helps maintain a comfortable cabin environment. This system works to remove excess moisture from the air inside the car, preventing windows from fogging up and ensuring a pleasant driving experience.

During this dehumidification process, the excess water that’s extracted from the air needs to go somewhere. In the case of the Model Y, it is designed to be drained underneath the vehicle. So, when the dehumidification system is active, you may notice a small amount of water accumulating underneath the car, which is perfectly normal.

Now, you might be wondering why the water is draining underneath the vehicle rather than inside. Well, Tesla has strategically designed the drainage system to prevent water from entering the interior of the car. By directing the water underneath, they ensure that your Tesla stays dry and comfortable inside, even during the dehumidifying process.

It’s important to note that the water you see is typically just a small pool, and it should not be excessive or continuous. If you notice a constant and significant amount of water leaking, it’s advisable to reach out to Tesla’s customer support or visit a Tesla service center to have it checked out. They can help determine if there’s any issue with the dehumidification system or if there’s a separate cause for the water leakage.

So, in most cases, if you see a small pool of water under your parked Tesla, rest assured that it’s a normal byproduct of the dehumidifying process. Tesla has designed the drainage system to handle this excess water, ensuring a comfortable and dry interior for your driving pleasure.

EV Speedy’s Take

The unique coolant blend used in Teslas is also effective in protecting the battery packs against freezing when the weather reaches sub-zero temperatures while minimizing the chances of damage from corrosion. 

Accordingly, this mixture optimizes your battery’s performance and life, meaning you have little to worry about during your car’s lifetime. Better still, if the coolant falls below the recommended threshold – which it rarely does – all you have to do is contact Tesla, and they will fix this for you.

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What Kind of Coolant Does Tesla Use? Tesla Coolant Type And Specs 1
Erwin Meyer
Erwin Meyer

A renowned Tesla enthusiast, and successful entrepreneur, enlightens global audiences through his compelling EV narratives. Discover more about his electric journey on his About Me page. Venture to read Erwin's incredible story that's reshaping the future of motoring. Want to spark a conversation with Erwin? Visit his Contact page, and let’s electrify the world together.